Off-season romance near Boston.
Peaceful Provincetown, MA
Credit: Max Kim-Bee

Enjoy quiet time in “P-town,” an especially romantic and tranquil place when the summer crowds disperse. Located at the tip of Cape Cod, the town, which is popular among gay and lesbian travelers, affords beautiful beaches, excellent seafood dished up along the wharf, and gently graded nature trails. Tip: If you like to cycle, pedal the 5.2-mile loop of the National Seashore between Herring Cove and Race Point beaches.

Beech Forest Trail

Walk the mile-long Beech Forest Trail, which winds through fragile sand dunes.

Gull Pond

One of the secret springs left over from the Ice Age, hidden deep in the Wellfleet and Truro woods. The water is exquisitely clear and silky.

Flyer’s Boat Shop & Rentals

Flyer’s Boat Shop & Rental, in Provincetown, runs a funky service out to the wild, sandy spit where the Atlantic and the bay meet. If you'd like, the shop rents sailboats, powerboats, and kayaks to take out on your own.

Red Inn

Ciro & Sals

The upper and lower dining rooms of this East End Provincetown restaurant are as different as day and night. Upstairs, the Tuscany Room includes paintings from the namesake region, while the main room boasts big windows, high ceilings, mirrors, a brick fireplace, and a garden view. Downstairs is a wine-cellar setting with low ceilings, Chianti bottles hung in wicker baskets, and brick and woodwork accents. The Northern Italian cuisine includes pasta and various dishes centered on seafood, chicken, or veal.


Well-heeled locals come here for jazz, rosé champagne, and the freshest raw oysters around (only $1.25 apiece at happy hour).

Ptown Bikes

Located in a red-brick building just outside the city center, this bicycle shop is easily recognizable by a round white sign with the word “bikes” emblazoned in bold black letters. The store rents a fleet of 600 Trek and Gary Fisher bikes, including mountain, tandem, comfort, hybrid, and beach cruiser styles. All rentals come with a free helmet, cable lock, maps, and emergency roadside assistance. In addition to renting, the shop also sells a variety of new and used bikes. Reservations are recommended during the high season (June through September).